I was walking down the pit lane with the score sheet in my hand, taking a closer look at the cars that were still not on the track, and there I saw it – the refreshed Audi A4, which, by some fortunate coincidence, was parked right next to the new Volvo S60. And at first, it was amply clear that the Audi can’t hold a candle to the Volvo in terms of design. That’s not to say that the A4 is not a good-looking car. It’s just that the Audi takes a more clean and sharp approach to its design, while the Volvo is certainly more dapper. Their interiors also tell a similar story, with the Volvo offering a wee bit more in terms of space and comfort.
The A4 manages to inch ahead in terms of refinement though. Powering the A4 is a 2.0-litre heart, which is certainly smoother than that of the Volvo and feels adequately quick and responsive. And the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is as seamless as we’ve always known it to be. In terms of lap time, however, the balance, once again, shifts in favour of the S60. While the A4 felt a bit smoother across the rev range, it was the S60 that managed to clock a marginally better time. Interestingly though, the A4 was almost as quick as the Skoda Octavia, which is powered by the same motor but is nearly 100kgs lighter.
Around the twisty section of the track, the A4 felt poised and maintained a clean line for the most part. It does have a bit of vertical movement, but it doesn’t quite upset its composure. A little more feedback from the steering would have worked wonders in making it feel more confident though. All in all, while the A4 doesn’t quite set a foot wrong, it doesn’t quite ace any one aspect either. It’s neither as engaging as the BMW 3 Series nor as desirable as the S60. And in that sense, it’s more like a factotum, a jack of all trades.
- 2021 Audi A4 (Lap Time – 01:12.2)
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||13|
BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine vs Volvo S60 vs Audi A4: Comparison
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